Friday, July 04, 2008

How I'm Spending My Summer Vacation

I've often said that there's nothing more boring than someone else's diet and exercise program. On the interest scale, it's like listening to Aunt Martha go on about her aches and pain and doctor visits -- one may resign oneself to being sweetly patient, but there are a whole lot of other things you'd rather be listening to.

However, the same project can be quite absorbing when we ourselves are the subject. It actually requires a certain amount of attention, whether there are calories to be counted, or blood sugar numbers or monitoring one's resting heart rate. Lately, I've had that little warning voice in my mind not to become over-enthusiastic, which leads to burn out and abandonment of what is, at this stage of my life, a necessity.

A couple of weeks ago, I went surfing on the web for local yoga classes. I've gotten to the point where I feel like I can benefit from having a teacher, to make sure I'm doing the poses correctly, etc. I found some at the local fitness center, and Jim says "Why don't you check out the family rates for joining the gym?". As it turns out, we get a deep discount because of his job with the county -- Blue Cross figures they come out ahead financially if they encourage their clients to exercise. I'm especially pleased that Jim is getting involved in this, because his health is a cause for worry.

Anyway, now I'm doing cardio, and weight training, and taking not only yoga classes, but tai chi as well. The classes will necessarily become quite hit-and-miss once school starts, but they're set up so you can just drop in any time. I'm learning a lot, the most important lesson being that exercise drops my blood sugar like a rock. I ate a chili dog last night, just as a rare indulgence, and my blood sugar stayed at such an incredibly low level I thought something was wrong with the tester.

Most days I manage a healthy, pescetarian diet -- sometimes leaning to the super-good and being vegetarian, other times being a bit bad and having a little meat and white flour (as in the aforementioned chili dog). I've discovered that, for me, there are three main diet killers: convenience, boredom, and the "God ,I miss that" moment -- as in "God, I haven't had a chili dog in ages!" The convenience part comes about because my beloved husband thinks the whole notion of vegetarianism is silly, and so he keeps sandwhich meat around, tempting me during hurried lunches, or worse, he decides to make or bring home dinner. And, I give in because it's just easier. The boredom, I suppose, is self-explanatory -- there are times when I just can't look one more veggie stir-fry in the face.

I've actually gained back a little bit of weight, and since my diet has been good, I suspect that I'm putting on muscle because of all this activity. One more reason to stay away from the scale.

I've also been trying to get a handle on my TMJ, which is the painful aftermath of grinding your teeth in your sleep. The mouth guard I paid 400 bucks for is virtually worthless. At best, it keeps me from breaking my teeth, but I'm still enduring a very sore jaw muscle. So, I went to a massage therapist and had a long consultation with one of the yoga teachers. What mostly came out of that is that I am not physically over the car accident I had in January. So, I've been focusing my home yoga practice towards the therapeutic, since I figure I'm getting exercise elsewhere, working on the traumatized and knotted muscles in my jaw, shoulder, neck, and hips. And just trying to relax which, as it turns out, actually requires a good deal of effort.

I was going to put this piece on my private blog, but there are so many folks out there who are looking up exercise and diet stuff on the web, that I figured I'd have my 2 cents out there for the search engines.

1 comment:

A. Stroller said...

Get yourself a dog; take lots of long walks; forget the diet; eat what you like apart from processed food; look after the spouse; shoot the kids or make them leave home; pay the doctor by results - tell him if you don't live forever and be the first pattient to survive him (doctors have a lousy success rate) he don't get paid; be happy and you will be healthy.

And avoid car accidents - it takes years to get over them